Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Feb 19 2021 16:56:23

Could eBay Have New Plans for Its Business Category?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is picking the brains of buyers in its Business & Industrial category, a possible indication it will be the next area to get eBay's "vertical" treatment after rolling out changes in categories like sneakers and trading cards.

According to a reader who took the survey, eBay explained it was doing the research "for business purposes." 

The invitation explained that Quadrangle was an independent research company conducting the survey on eBay's behalf. "This survey will cover the buying or selling of equipment/accessories, tools and supplies for sectors such as industrial, office, heavy machinery, medical, healthcare, restaurants and kitchens."

The reader speculated that eBay might be wanting to take away business from sites like Office Max or Staples.

But interestingly, its rival Amazon has a program it launched in 2015 specifically geared toward B2B buyers. Amazon Business offers special business-friendly features such as invoicing - and participants can subscribe to Business Prime, which offers 3 levels of membership (Duo at $69/year for 1 user; Essentials at $179/year for up to 3 users; and Small at $499/year for up to 10 users).

And, as we reported earlier this week, Amazon Business is holding an event next month called re:Shape 2021 where it will business buyers and procurement specialists how to save time and money buying online. 

As eBay faces competition in key industries ("verticals") such as sneakers, it has been more open to loosening its "one size fits all" approach. 

The survey of business buyers - which is offering a sweepstakes with a grand prize of $500 as an incentive for completing the survey - could be a clue that eBay could be exploring possible changes to its Business & Industrial category.

Its own sellers may be eBay best business customers - many purchase supplies and packing materials on the platform. We have wondered if that will change at all as sellers enrolled into Managed Payments can't move sales proceeds into PayPal.

Tell us where you buy your business supplies and if it makes sense for eBay to do more to attract business buyers and procurement specialists to the site.



Comments (7) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Could eBay Have New Plans for Its Business Category?   Could eBay Have New Plans for Its Business Category?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Feb 19 18:57:50 2021

I buy most of my supplies from Amazon and ULine.  

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by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Fri Feb 19 20:10:37 2021

As the pricing is much cheaper from the US based eBay sellers that I buy from, purchases of cardboard CD mailers, small plastic bubble pack envelopes, small zip lock bags, and small zip ties are consummated on eBay.

All of my remaining office and shipping supplies come from Staples and ULINE, where I have commercial purchasing accounts.

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by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 20 09:34:11 2021

I can not see Ebay offering anything that will attract new buyers.  Larger businesses shop full service and quality which is ULine and MB Mason in my mind.  
I am a longtime hobby seller on Ebay and Etsy I shop price. I usually buy 25 boxes first order if quality if poor/fair I use up and move on.  I buy my bubble wrap (Scotch @ $12.94 roll) and Scotch packing tape from Sam’s Club ; Larger bubbles and labels Ebay. Boxes from Ebay, Amazon and Staples. At first (1998-2004) I bought all of my boxes from ULine (best quality)  but shipping charges made them prohibitive (never could muster a $500 free shipping order). At onetime Home Depot had a large selection of boxes with free shipping to store. I buy about $2,400 a year of shipping supplies.
Amazon offered me a $69 annual business “membership” but I have household Prime and selection is limited for boxes I use. Prices on Ebay and special offers from Staples often are better.

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Sat Feb 20 15:34:39 2021

@HappyOne

I too used to buy boxes from Home Depot with ship to store. But their prices tripled, not sure what happened to them. Now I buy from Staples, they are still offering free shipping on any purchase and their prices on the sizes I use the most are quite reasonable.

Pricing on eBay is exhausting to shop. So many sellers have boxes listed with multiple quantities so when you sort lowest price first you get all the $0.99 for one box, even when using the search term "25 boxes". So annoying!

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by: MichaelP This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 03:40:21 2021

I also use eBay and Amazon. I find places like Grainger and Uline to be overpriced, but not always. I bought from all four of those in the past 4 months.

I have a local supplier with a huge selection of shipping goods that I use when the prices and/or quality are better. I pick up my purchases up at a warehouse about a half hour away. There is no minimum order.

Examples of prices from my local supplier:

-12” 30lb Newsprint x 1440' 15lbs per roll $14 each
-12" 40lb Kraft paper roll $12 each or $11 if purchase 3 or more
-12 cubic ft environmental loose fill (peanuts) $24
-8"x6"x3" 100 boxes $22
-UPSable Air Foam Roll (perforated) 1/8" 12" x 350' $26
A Flute Kraft Singleface Corrugated Roll 12" X 250' $14

Poly Mailers (2.5mil thick):
-7.5x10.5" 1000 $35
-9 x 12" 500 $24
-10x13" 500 $28
-19 x 24" 125 $23

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 22 04:13:26 2021

I buy wherever there's a deal.  With shipping costs going sky-high, I save wherever I can.  If the Salvation Army has a pack of bubble mailers, if the Goodwill has envelopes, wherever I can get it.  Lately I've been buying through my Mercari account.

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by: Shay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 1 00:45:16 2021

ebay needs to get their website up to the 21st century.  you can’t even list multiple items on a listing still.  even etsy let’s you do that.  



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